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Not a fact: A synchronic analysis of el hecho de and o facto de

  • Patrícia Amaral EMAIL logo and Manuel Delicado Cantero EMAIL logo
From the journal Probus


This paper provides empirical evidence showing that the clause-taking nominals el hecho de (Spanish) and o facto de (Portuguese) are not reliable tests of factivity of predicates, as commonly assumed in the literature. Naturally occurring data from both languages show that these nominals are compatible with a wide range of predicates and that they occur in sentences with both factive and non-factive interpretations. Our findings contribute to the debate on the syntactic and semantic properties of clause-taking nominal constructions, clausal nominalization in Ibero-Romance, and to current research on the nature of factivity.


We would like to thank two anonymous reviewers of Probus for their constructive comments, as well as the audiences of the Hispanic Linguistics Symposium 2016 (Georgetown University) and of the International Conference on Historical Linguistics 2017 (San Antonio). Any remaining mistakes are our own responsibility.


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Published Online: 2019-05-10
Published in Print: 2019-05-27

© 2019 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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